Lasagna noodles piss me off. There, I said it. After a couple of decades of making lasagna, I have finally figured out why I dislike and avoid making it. I love lasagna, I just hate making it.
Its all about the noodles. They’re the wrong size. You know what I mean… I know you do. You have to decide which way to arrange the damn things in the dish. If you line them up the long way, the you have to turn one 90 degrees at the end of the row. But if you do that, you have to break it to make it fit the width of the dish. Then you’re left with this little noodle tidbit. What do you do with that? Break it up and sprinkle it around the dish? Throw it back in the box? And what’s with those little ruffly edges? Do they serve a purpose? Maddening!!
It’s also annoying that I can’t fit four noodles across in a standard 9 x 13 baking dish. Only 3 will fit, then you have pretty good sized gaps. What’s up with that? See what I mean? I’d really prefer more noodle coverage than that. I really think that the lack of properly sized noodles contributes greatly to the sloppiness of my lasagna pieces when I try to lift them out. Bloop.. All over the plate like goulash. Hollering the word “Goulash!” is a great profanity substitute, by the way. Try it — GOULASH! Its a very satisfying word.
I know this is a ridiculous first-world, universal problem that simply must have a solution that I’m not aware of. My wise sister says that the size of the noodles are designed to fit a commercial baking pan. But really? Who has those? And after all, aren’t there enough lasagna noodles sold to regular people like you and me that we might warrant another size? So please, dear readers, leave a comment below and enlighten me as to the proper, efficient and recommended lasagna noodle arrangement.
Meanwhile, here is the easy, quick lasagna recipe that my mom often made for our family. I asked her where she got the recipe so I could give credit where credit is due, but she wasn’t entirely sure. She vaguely remembered it as being one of those recipes that you sometimes see on the side of a package. So possibly, its a variation of a recipe from a box of irritating noodles that she tried several decades ago!
I like to make the dish ahead of time, the just grab it out of the fridge in the late afternoon. When I made this recipe last week, we were all impatient for dinner so I forgot to take a photo of the finished dish! I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!
- 2 lbs burger
- 1 quart tomato sauce
- ½ package lasagna noodles (8-10 noodles)
- 8 oz mozzarella cheese
- 16 oz (large container) cottage cheese
- 1 egg
- Your preferred Italian seasonings
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- Brown burger and drain grease.
- Add tomato sauce to burger and season to taste
- In a medium sized bowl, mix together cottage cheese & egg. Season with basil, oregano, or whatever seasonings your prefer. (no salt needed)
- Start with a thin layer of sauce in the bottom.
- Arrange first layer of dry noodles
- Layer about half of the cottage cheese / egg mixture
- Add ½ the meat sauce, then top with a layer of shredded cheese.
- Repeat the layers.
- Cover with foil and bake for an hour or until the noodles feel soft when pierced with a paring knife.
- Remove the foil for the last 15-20 mins.